MK Hasson submits bill to ban ‘immoral act’ of betting on animals

‘What appears as a noble sport is actually an industry of evil and pain,’ says animal rights NGO Hakol Chai.

Yisrael Hasson 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Yisrael Hasson 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
MK Yisrael Hasson (Kadima) recently submitted a bill seeking to eradicate the phenomenon of betting on animals in Israel, Hakol Chai – an organization to prevent animal suffering – announced on Monday evening.
The purpose of the bill is to end “immoral acts” to animals that often occur as a result of gambling, such as doping, irreversible physical injuries and even death, Hakol Chai explained.
If passed, the bill would make violators of the prohibition subject to a fine or up to one year in prison, the organization said.
While drafted by Hakol Chai in collaboration with Hasson, the bill has received support from eight Knesset members from across the political spectrum: Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), Amram Mitzna (Hatnua), Dov Henin (Hadash), Eitan Cabel (Labor), David Azoulay (Shas), Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), Itzik Shmuli (Labor) and Hilik Bar (Labor).
“World experience shows that in countries that have tried to allow gambling, alongside regulations designed to protect animals, the efforts to limit the cruelty to them have been empty,” the bill’s explanatory note reads. “The stress of gambling that involves pushing the animals to the extreme and getting from them maximum gains supersedes all regulatory efforts. Suffering and cruelty are inherent to the industry.”
The animal gambling industry also generates a surplus in animals rendered unfit for competition, and these animals often end up abandoned or killed, the explanatory note adds.
Horses that participate in racing, for example, have a lifespan that is 75 percent shorter than thoroughbreds that do not compete, data from Hakol Chai explained. The reduced lifespan can be attributed to problems that result from stimulant and pain reliever use, the development of stomach ulcers, bleeds and other injuries.
Horse racing currently exists in Israel at only a very minimal level.
“What appears sometimes as a noble sport is actually an industry of evil and pain,” a statement from Hakol Chai said. “The law, if it passes, would prevent, among other things, the development of a horse-racing industry and would save horses from severe and unnecessary suffering. It is important for Israel to learn from other countries that now are searching for ways to minimize racing damage, instead of importing evils from them.”